#IWD2024 Count Her In: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress

Our #IWD2024 newsletter is now live!

Please read this month’s opening message from CEO, Julie Reilly OAM below and click through to read more about our current research projects, events, and advocacy.

If you have not yet subscribed, please sign up for quarterly news updates and special events in support of better and more gender-equitable philanthropic giving and investment in women and girls. You can join our mailing list by scrolling down to the form in our blue footer (at the bottom of the web page). 


Dear Friend,

This week we celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) and the UN Women’s #IWD2024 theme Count Her In: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress  a call to action that is very much aligned with our philanthropic mission.

Across the week the Status of Women Report Card 2024 will be presented to the Australian public and the Minister for Women, Senator Katy Gallagher, will launch Australia’s first National Gender Equality Strategy. This will outline the actions that the Federal Government will take over the next ten years to accelerate gender equality, with an invitation for all in the community to play their part, including philanthropy.

Despite persistent and enduring gender inequality across the globe, the evidence is clear, investing in women provides higher returns in business and in philanthropy, Australians Investing In Women is committed to supporting funders to maximise the impact of their generosity by giving through a gender lens.

Philanthropy has long played a role in supporting those experiencing disadvantage and, now more than ever, social investment needs to create a fairer and more equal world (see the recent Kenneth Myer Lecture from Prof Glyn Davis AC on the impact of philanthropy via our link below). Increasingly, philanthropic leaders, including Glyn as former CEO of Paul Ramsay Foundation, recognise the power of a gender lens to maximise impact and ensure philanthropic investments benefit all members of society equitably.

Recently I had the privilege of presenting the advantages of employing a gender lens in philanthropic practice to the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into Philanthropy which has been asked to analyse motivations for philanthropic giving in Australia and identify opportunities to grow it further.

At the hearing, I asked that the Commission recommend that a gender lens be embedded, and promoted by the peak body Philanthropy Australia, as core to philanthropic practice, for it to be a foundational lens, used in conjunction with other lenses such as ethnicity, age, ability, socio-economic, etc. I also proposed that the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) instruments be expanded to build gender data into the Annual Information Statements so that the gender of trustees and board members is reported. This would provide transparency and enable analysis of gender diversity on philanthropic and NFP boards in the way that is possible on ASX boards.

Given the evidence of improved productivity, business outcomes, and shareholder returns through gender and other diversity on boards and leadership teams (see the Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s (WGEA) new 2024 Gender Pay Gaps report below) it makes sense to align the expectations of the social sector with contemporary expectations of leadership in government and corporate Australia and that this focus on gender data should be extended to granting, reporting and evaluation taxonomies, providing a clearer picture of the end beneficiaries of giving to enable transparency on the equity in giving.

In other news, on 24 April in Melbourne, we will be launching an important new partnership resource, Equitable Foundations: A Framework for Gender-wise Philanthropy in Partnerships and the associated Case Study report, in partnership with  Melbourne Social Equity Institute and Paul Ramsay Foundation. Then, on 6 May, in Sydney, we will work in partnership with the team at Deloitte Access Economics and Minderoo Foundation to launch follow-up research on the 2022 ‘Breaking the Norm’  report.

Please read on for more information and links to some of the many #IWD2024 events, including our Gender Compass sector event in partnership with Plan International Australia and Philanthropy Australia, WGEA’s new Gender Pay Gaps report and more impactful projects inspiring better giving to women and girls.

As always, we welcome your feedback and engagement with our work.

With sincere thanks and warm regards,

Julie Reilly OAM
CEO, Australians Investing In Women

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